For many Gen-Xers, Choose Your Own Adventure books were an integral part of childhood. Each story was filled with adventure and humor, and ended however you wanted it to based on your decisions along the way. Perhaps this approach to storytelling could only work in a postmodern culture, but work it did and even turned many gamers and jocks into avid readers.
James N. Anderson has taken the same approach to writing about worldview. The goal of What's Your Worldview? isn't primarily to entertain, though, it's to help readers understand and clarify their own worldview, and to understand its implications. There are three sections to the text (Questions, Categories, and Worldviews), and readers choose answers to each that guide them to the logical conclusion of their views.
Questions range from very broad (Do we actually make free choices?) to quite specific (Did Jesus rise from the dead? Was Moses a true prophet of God?). Anderson has identified the extent to which the various broad worldviews align, breaking them apart as they vary and disagree. Categories include Atheist, Pantheist, and Theist; Worldviews range from Nihilist to Muslim to Christian.
As Anderson points out, your worldview isn't just some abstract thing with no real importance for everyday life, but the collection of ideas and beliefs that inform your behavior. It's essential to know your worldview in order to know why you act the way you do, and whether or not you should rethink your fundamental presuppositions.
Each question is one page, and each category and worldview is about two pages. This isn't about finding your religion, it's about discovering your worldview, so while Christianity, Judaism, and Islam all get sections because they present distinct worldviews, you won't find sections on Hinduism, Buddhism, or Mormonism because they fit into broader worldviews.
Anderson is a Presbyterian pastor and Christian philosopher, but you won't know that from reading this book. He doesn't hide his faith, but he doesn't reveal his own worldview because the purpose of his book is to help others discover theirs, not to convince anyone of a specific point. However, each step of the way he offers gracious pushback and challenges to the assertions made by the different worldviews (including Christianity!) to help readers really grapple with life's most important issues.
Because of this open approach, What's Your Worldview? is an excellent way to begin apologetic or evangelistic conversations with non-believers, fellow Christians, and followers of other religions alike. It's fun to read, very short, and quite approachable, an excellent introduction to an essential topic that will turn off few readers and will pique the interest of many others.
Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he is a husband and father, teaches adult Sunday school in his Presbyterian congregation, and likes weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur.Read more of his reviews here.
Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he's a husband and father who loves church, good food, and weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur. Read more of his reviews here
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